Joy Corrigan On Sex Appeal and Working With Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger

“I love to be sexy and I love to show skin ‘cause I work out really hard to get the body that I have. I’ve always been very free-spirited about it.”

Photography: Mégane Claire/(@meganeclaire, Makeup: Madeline Rouge/@madelinerouge

Just in the nick of time, Victoria’s Secret model Joy Corrigan left New York and moved to Newport Beach in Southern California right before the pandemic. Now, instead of being holed up through the winter in some dim apartment, she’s by the shore at least a few times a week for a run, a walk or just to sun herself. 

And that means that yes, you actually might find yourself walking down the beach one day and stumble upon a lingerie model in a bikini, one who has graced magazine covers—and never mind the nude shots taken on a weekend getaway in Palm Springs and posted on her Instagram page where she has 680,000 followers and counting. 

“I love to be sexy and I love to show skin ‘cause I work out really hard to get the body that I have. I’ve always been very free-spirited about it,” she tells us about posing sans clothing. “I try to keep every shot I do very classy and a visual showcase of the beauty of what a woman can look like. That’s my goal.” 

Mission accomplished. Her other goals include a gradual shift to the big screen, having played bit parts in Aftermath with Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2017 and, a year later, Reprisal, starring Bruce Willis. 

“He shows up to set and he gets the shot,” she says of her veteran co-star. “It takes a lot of actors many, many takes. He just seemed to have the confidence he was able to get the shot and move on.”

Photography: Mégane Claire/(@meganeclaire, Makeup: Madeline Rouge/@madelinerouge

If that sounds like a minimalist effort by Willis, Schwarzenegger has him beat. “With Arnold, the way he works is he likes to show up right before and then leave right after,” she explains about The Terminator star. 

“He’s not trying to stick around. But he’s that good that he’s able to do that. He pretty much filmed the majority of his scenes in one day and I was blown away by that.” 

It wasn’t supposed to be this way for a girl like Corrigan. She grew up on a backwoods farm in North Carolina, one of ten children. Around her were livestock, her siblings, and the field and forest for playing. But nothing in her environment hinted at the type of life the 25-year-old beauty has led. 

Photography: Mégane Claire/(@meganeclaire, Makeup: Madeline Rouge/@madelinerouge

“I would never have dreamed I would be where I’m at today. I knew there was something else, and something bigger, but I had no idea what it was. I just knew I had to get out of that town, and as soon as I was old enough I moved. I love my family, but I realized there’s more out there,” she explains. 

Scouted in a mall in Raleigh, North Carolina, at the age of 14, she soon moved to Miami to pursue a career in modeling that has taken her to destinations throughout Europe, Australia, South Africa, and then New York City where she lived before her current home in SoCal.

And if you do bump into her on that beach in Newport, just remember she’s unmarried and she likes her men smart and funny. “Any guy that loves to challenge me, whether it’s in boxing or chess or running. That competitive side of a guy to push me, I think it’s so attractive. If a guy can beat me at chess, they’ve already passed a certain point.”

Turn-offs include taking yourself too seriously, and lewd comments on social media. “These people don’t know me. They’re not talking to me, they’re talking to the image of me. I ignore them, mostly. What gives me confidence is having people in my life that love me and encourage me, but also tell me when I’m screwing up.” 

No doubt her devoutly religious family thought she was “screwing up” at first, but they eventually came around. “I would go to church every Sunday and every Wednesday and we weren’t allowed to wear skirts above our knees,” Corrigan recalls about her strict upbringing. 

“But there was a part of me that wanted to be free and show the world I can be sexy. At first my mom was like, ‘what are you doing?!’ They weren’t too proud of me ‘cause they didn’t get that I wanted to show my body and promote feeling sexy as a woman. Now they’re proud of their daughter. Now it’s like, ‘Joy’s naked again.’”

With travel restrictions still in place, she hasn’t been doing too much modeling, so her focus has been on acting, studying with producers and coaches on a regular basis, and more recently auditioning for bigger roles in prominent productions. 

“With acting there’s so much more preparation, scene study, reading the script and getting to know the character. The hours, weeks and months of prep for a role, that, for me, is exciting,” she says, content with the progress she’s made.

“When I first started acting there were things I had no idea about, being a model, like you’re not supposed to ever look into the camera. When you’re modeling, all you’re supposed to do is look into the camera. So that was a little confusing at first.” 

But Corrigan likes a challenge, and 2021 is bound to be full of them. “We need to conquer COVID, if that’s even possible. But somehow we’ve got to get it under control because we’ve really been shaken up in the last year,” she says, looking forward to the new one. 

“And bring equality to every single person no matter their race or color, bring the whole nation together and unite everyone.”